Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stolen Twitter handle @N returned to rightful owner

@N, a highly valued (for its brevity) Twitter handle has been returned to its rightful owner, Naoki Hiroshima, he tweeted on Tuesday. He had the handle "stolen" from him when a hacker gained access to some of his virtual properties, and demanded the handle in exchange for not destroying Hiroshima's digital life (a la Mat Honan).

His tweet was short, but sweet:
Order has been restored.
Neither Hiroshima nor Twitter has commented on exactly what happened in terms of the restoration of the handle to him. It's not clear if all the publicity made Twitter decide to return the handle. It took quite a while: The initial report of the hijacking was made in late January.

In late January, Hiroshima recounted his experience: Both his PayPal and GoDaddy accounts were compromised via social engineering. With that information, and the horrific vision of his digital life being essentially "deleted," the hacker pushed Hiroshima for his Twitter login credentials, which he could then use to take over the account. Hiroshima gave that up, and instead opened the @N_is_stolen Twitter account.

While the incident became a cautionary tale of how tenuous our grasp on our digital lives is, at least things turned out happily for Hiroshima. At least, for now. As we wondered earlier, the question is will this hacker try to get more steps against Hiroshima. We expected Hiroshima has taken the time and effort -- and even tips, offered by the hacker -- to lock down his accounts.

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